Author Topic: Mistakes all round yesterday  (Read 1016 times)

Offline FPT

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Mistakes all round yesterday
« on: March 19, 2017, 01:17:29 PM »
Admittedly, I was at work yesterday but have whizzed through the full 90 and studied over the highlights and I appreciate that opinions differ when you know the scoreline before seeing a ball kicked, as well as watching in retrospect.

When I saw the sides announced, I was surprised by a few moves by Slavisa which did end up to prove mistakes. Of course, you don't have to believe me, I have no proof this is what I thought but whatever. I was stunned to see both Ryan's in the full back positions; Fredericks hasn't been playing to the right standard for a few games now and Sessegnon provided very little against Blackburn; after dropped points in midweek, I was a little stunned to see Slavisa not go with more reliable and solid options in Scott Malone and Denis Odoi (the full back pairing I would expect to see start at Rotherham in April). I was also surprised to not see Cyriac start, he's made an impact in his cameos so far this season, and continuing to keep him on a limited run serves only to disrupt momentum. I have no qualms in not playing a striker, however, you have to have something resembling a forward in that position. Away from home, Sone Aluko played it perfectly as Newcastle were more inclined to press a higher defensive line and he dropped in which gave Sessegnon all of that space into behind to exploit. However, at home, teams will sit back, especially with our offensive and possession qualities, so we need somebody to move in and around the oppositions lines of defence to give our passing a focal point - Lucas Piazon does this excellently.

Another mistake, for me at least, was taking off Kevin McDonald, I think he at least would helped a lot in preventing the two second half Wolves goals. As our sole holding midfielder in the entire squad, I think he'd have known to move into the position the ball was played into Weimann, whereas both centre backs are positioned about where they should be but Johansen on the edge of the box has to disrupt that passing lane. No player in that position means Fredericks now has to move heavily out of position; of which Weimann takes advantage of with aplomb.

For the third goal (and 1-3), I don't think Tim Ream has to come all the way into Helder Costa, when you see where he is on the pitch, all you have to do is block the passing option into (what would be) Dave Edwards, Sessegnon (although skinned) is doing just about enough to push Costa wide - between Sessegnon, Ream and Button, there's no way Costa should be allowed to find a team mate in that positioning - it's panic defending. Again, easy to say when you know the result, in the moment and losing 2-1, there was probably too much of "I have to get that ball" rather than cooly but quickly problem solving.

It surprises me that we don't change it up more frequently, I've long been a fan of a three man defence and long time posters on this site will back me up on that one. The ability to keep teams guessing and show in-game tactical flexibility is a great way to change games without making multiple substitutes. Cardiff away in the Cup was one of our stronger performances and that was aided hugely by Denis Odoi playing as an in between full back/centre back which allowed both Ryan's (ironically after previous comments in this post) to make an impact in the final third.

Over the course of the season, it has amazed me more and more than Slavisa hasn't changed the team up more regularly. The midfield trio has been pretty much playing 90 minutes of every game since October when we've had Jozabed, Parker and Christensen contracted to us in that period. We've also not even thought about a potential 4231 to give one of those midfielders a break to get another attacking player (Kebano pre-AFCON maybe) into the team. Jokanovic had a reputation at Watford of constant tweaks and team changes both in between matches and in game, so it surprises me we've not seen it more. He's had the players and tools to do so but he's been pretty stubborn in his decisions beyond the odd full back and wide player change (speaking generally about the season).

Anyway, that sidetracked into another conversation. Back to the point, plenty of mistakes by all yesterday, the reason I didn't break down Wolves' first is because it's pretty simple and apocalyptic defending from Ryan Fredericks and god knows where Tomas Kalas is to cut out the passing channel, Ream has to come across to the right hand side of defence meaning Sessegnon is always the wrong side of Cavaleiro.

Beyond players needing a break, I think we simply need to be more imaginative and creative tactically.

Whatever happens this season, just remember, the year before Tigana took us up, we finished 9th. What did we add the next season? Importantly, game changers and match winners in Luis Boa Morte and Louis Saha as well as the knowhow of a John Collins who could still give us the quality of the past even if his legs were beyond his prime and another goal scoring threat in Barry Hayles. Other than that, the squad didn't change much: if we don't go up this season, I don't think we need more than 4/5 quality additions to take the title let alone top six.

I can no longer be bothered to write, so thanks for reading.

Offline @jolslover

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Re: Mistakes all round yesterday
« Reply #1 on: March 19, 2017, 01:34:51 PM »
Good post as usual.
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Offline hopper

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Re: Mistakes all round yesterday
« Reply #2 on: March 19, 2017, 01:40:24 PM »
Think that last paragraph is key, we look so close but are lacking those key roles you cite. The lack of leadership is palpable at times, and is the most notable reason why despite being the best football team - there are 6 teams above us this year. Must be addressed


Online dannyboi-ffc

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Re: Mistakes all round yesterday
« Reply #3 on: March 19, 2017, 02:06:29 PM »
Good post
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Offline rogerpinvirginia

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Re: Mistakes all round yesterday
« Reply #4 on: March 19, 2017, 02:15:16 PM »
very good post
VERY DAFT AND A LOT DAFTER THAN I SEEM, SOMETIMES

Offline Friendsoffulham

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Re: Mistakes all round yesterday
« Reply #5 on: March 19, 2017, 02:19:04 PM »
This has been put on Twitter inviting people to have a read.


Offline filham

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Re: Mistakes all round yesterday
« Reply #6 on: March 19, 2017, 02:57:37 PM »
Yesterday's selected line up indicates that Jocanovic totally underestimated the power of the counter attack from Wolves and gambled by using all of the best attacking players we have. Malone should have started at left back for certain and taking McDonald off, unless he was injured, was suicidal.

Offline rogerpinvirginia

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Re: Mistakes all round yesterday
« Reply #7 on: March 19, 2017, 03:09:52 PM »
Yesterday's selected line up indicates that Jocanovic totally underestimated the power of the counter attack from Wolves and gambled by using all of the best attacking players we have. Malone should have started at left back for certain and taking McDonald off, unless he was injured, was suicidal.

As was loaning out LVC and Tunnicliffe
VERY DAFT AND A LOT DAFTER THAN I SEEM, SOMETIMES

Offline Jims Dentist

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Re: Mistakes all round yesterday
« Reply #8 on: March 19, 2017, 06:08:03 PM »
Yet another terrific post FPT.
And yes I can certainly verify that you are a fan of a back three.


Offline @jolslover

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Re: Mistakes all round yesterday
« Reply #9 on: March 19, 2017, 06:38:14 PM »
Yesterday's selected line up indicates that Jocanovic totally underestimated the power of the counter attack from Wolves and gambled by using all of the best attacking players we have. Malone should have started at left back for certain and taking McDonald off, unless he was injured, was suicidal.

As was loaning out LVC and Tunnicliffe

Except Tunnicliffe cant make Wigans bench and they have one of the worst squads in the league. Tunnicliffe was not up to the standard to play here.
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Offline Luka

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Re: Mistakes all round yesterday
« Reply #10 on: March 19, 2017, 06:56:14 PM »


We are actually very predictable and sides know what to expect from us now.
Those that fear us most are the teams we will find the hardest to break down.
Thier managers put out thier biggest (physically) and strongest defensive units and are happy to watch us play in front if them.
Teams like Newcastle don't fear us as much. They play thier own game and worry less about ours and don't "park the bus" waiting for the opportunity to hit us on the break.
This is why we are able to have success against the teams that play the better football rather than the teams looking to dig out a point from a game.The better the opposition the better we look but Wolves and Blackburn were physical defensive units that knew what they were doing.

Online Wearethewhites

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Re: Mistakes all round yesterday
« Reply #11 on: March 19, 2017, 07:40:43 PM »
Really good post FPT, refreshing to see, however, would just like to touch on one of your points:-

"Whatever happens this season, just remember, the year before Tigana took us up, we finished 9th. What did we add the next season? Importantly, game changers and match winners in Luis Boa Morte and Louis Saha as well as the knowhow of a John Collins who could still give us the quality of the past even if his legs were beyond his prime and another goal scoring threat in Barry Hayles. Other than that, the squad didn't change much: if we don't go up this season, I don't think we need more than 4/5 quality additions to take the title let alone top six."

For me, personally, I'm concerned about this rolling into next season, if we've got the opportunity to sneak up now, we need to be taking it with both hands.

Unlike the Tigana years, I can see next season in the Championship being even harder. Look at Wolves now, and what they will potentially spend, Villa are coming good, Norwich, Derby will still be there, and whoever doesn't make it through the playoffs, and whoever comes down, Hull, Sunderland, Palace maybe.

What also troubles me, and although he seems like a nice bloke, is that Tony Kahn still seems to be a bit wet behind the ears, and like when we got relegated, he felt we had enough this January, when everyone else clearly knew we hadn't.

So, coming into next season, with this 'sustainable' vision and 'stats' that supposedly picks out a cheap talent, are we really going to make any headway, or are we going to be blown to pieces.

Regardless of what others say, and regardless of still only being 1pt outside playoffs, we majorly screwed up against Blackburn and Wolves, and have most likely blown our chance.

January was key for me to bolster that already thin squad, and now, on par, its coming back to bite us in the ass.   


Online dannyboi-ffc

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Re: Mistakes all round yesterday
« Reply #12 on: March 19, 2017, 07:49:41 PM »
On that point about it being harder next year, we need to remember any of Swansea, Hull, Boro and Sunderland are not Newcastle for starters. None of them have the knack of bouncing between leagues like Norwich potentially did this season. And none are as big a club as Villa.

Anyone who comes down will be a threat because of FFP and the parachute money but none of the current contenders for the drop will be as competitive as this season imo or at least not a certainty like Newcastle. 

As long as we add 6 quality players. 2 strikers, more depth in midfield, a left footed centre half who is actually a defender and renew the Kalas loan and sign Piazon. All of a sudden we are favourites to win the league.Add a better keeper if I'm being greedy.

As FPT says, we have the foundations of a system and team. We just need to add the match winners.
« Last Edit: March 19, 2017, 07:51:25 PM by dannyboi-ffc »
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Offline HeinekenFFC

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Re: Mistakes all round yesterday
« Reply #13 on: March 20, 2017, 04:09:50 PM »
You're completely right, FPT. So many things went wrong. I'll try to give my view of events on Saturday here.

Slav got a lot of things wrong. Firstly, the lineup did not work at all. Defences are happy to drop back into their box with their central midfielders and force us to spray it out wide and cross it in. We've shown that we have been able to bypass this numerous times... when we have a striker. Look at the Preston game for example. They forced our wingers out wide and we were able to get balls into space in the box because of the movement created by a striker. On Saturday, we were not able to replicate this because the three players up front (Kebano, Ayite, Aluko) are all wingers and not used to playing as a striker or false nine of sorts. They all wanted to drop back and assist with the build up play, which Wolves were happy to let them do all game along. When one of the three did come close to their central defenders, they were physically muscled off the ball and gave it away. I'd need a calculator for the amount of times this happened to Aluko, where he'd get the ball at the edge of the box and then was stampeded over (legally) by Hause. This false nine trio IMO has only worked when Piazon has played, who like you have stated, creates space for himself and others with his movement, which the other three aren't able to do.

I was completely bamboozled by Slav's refusal to start Cyriac after his excellent cameo against Blackburn. His movement fits in perfectly with what we're trying to do, as it creates space for other players like Ayite (who should have hit the back of the net at 3-1 but went straight at Ikeme's head) to move into, receive the ball quickly and shoot. He also seems to have that ability of being able to jump extremely high and contest headers, something which the likes of Aluko could not do against Hause and Batth due to their height. I couldn't understand why we kept trying to go over the top to Aluko when the two Wolves centre backs were comfortable dealing with this all throughout the first half. For whatever reason, we never seemed to really considerable playing through balls on the ground, which might have had a better chance of success.

The Kevin McDonald substitution was disastrous as I felt that he had probably been our best player in the first half and linking up play between both sides as well as his good defensive cover. I understood bringing Cyriac on but for McDonald was a dreadful move by Slav. He would've been better off taking Aluko off, who looked tired and confused on what do in the centre of the pitch. We saw the effects of this poor substitution instantly in the second half when they scored as the centre backs had no outlet to pass to in Kmac. Our poor clearances, along with Sess being out of position (a recurring theme throughout the game), allowed Coady to slip by and cross low to Weimann, who easily finished. His withdrawal from the game allowed whoever was in the centre of the pitch (Cavaleiro, Marshall, Costa) to constantly run at our defence and spray balls to whoever was running behind our full backs.

Finally, we come onto our full backs. It was not a shocking game, it was disastrous from both of the starters. Frederick's usual attacking industry was not there as he took so long to cross it in the box compared to how quickly he usually does it (like against Reading, Brighton). The first goal was completely avoidable and I won't go into detail about it as we can all see what he should've done (turn left, not towards goal!). What's more bizarre to me is how little time we've given Denis Odoi since November. He was excellent against Ritchie and Newcastle and is much more composed as a footballer than Fredericks is. Rather than dropping a palyer for an excellent performance, we should be giving them more time in the team to breed confidence. Sessegnon was also disastrous and constantly got caught out of position. While Scott Malone has been fairly uninspiring since the turn of the year, I don't understand Slav's stubbornness to stick with Sess at LB given how poor positionally he has been there. Malone has at least some understanding of defensive positioning and also communicates a lot better with the defence than Sess. Yes, he's only 16 but that doesn't mean he can't come under criticism.

Thankfully, we've got two weeks of rest (for most of our players) before we go to Rotherham. I don't know what changes will be made but these breaks are crucial to us. Every game now is crucial and a must-win given how we've constantly bottled it and shot ourselves in the foot when it's a must win. Slav has been tactically naive in the past two games with his lineups and subs (why did he not bring Petsos on against Rovers?!?!) and we can't afford to have him constantly make these mistakes. His insistence to play Sess at LB is hurting us so much defensively which he has to realise. I hope we start playing with a striker soon or that Piazon comes back for the Derby game but I'm not getting my hopes up.

TL;DR: Bizarre starting XI on Saturday, Full backs woeful, Sess not a LB, McDonald sub disastrous by Slav and should've started a striker.

Online HatterDon

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Re: Mistakes all round yesterday
« Reply #14 on: March 20, 2017, 05:34:56 PM »
good stuff, FPT!  065.gif
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